Perfumer, Geza Schoen launched Escentric Molecules in 2006 with a pair of fragrances that focus on an enigmatic aroma-molecule, Iso E Super.
Escentric 01 contains 65% of this one molecule, an unprecedented amount, together with lime peel, hedione (green jasmine bud), orris, balsamic notes, and fresh musk.
Escentric 02 contains 13.5% Ambroxan* in a formula designed to amplify its mineral note. It also contains hedione (green jasmine bud), a ‘gin and tonic’ accord, “and a hint of the Austrian lemonade called almdudler”. Geza Schoen describes the final effect as ‘super-longlasting freshness into the drydown, together with a subtle sensuality.’
*13.5% is the maximum percentage of Ambroxan that can be dissolved in a fragrance compound. Any more, and the Ambroxan begins to crystallize out of the solution.
Escentric 03 focuses on Vetiveryl Acetate in a formula that pays tribute to the three roots used in perfumery: vetiver, ginger and orris, which is extracted from the roots of the Florentine iris. “I wanted Escentric 03 to bring out the scent impressions of these roots,” says Geza Schoen, “and show how they harmonise with each other.”
Ginger dominates the top note, which is vibrant, green and spicy with lime peel and green peppercorn. The heart is rich, velvety orris with Egyptian jasmine and tea notes. The drydown emphasises the dark green woodiness of vetiver together with sandalwood, cedar, mellow balsams and musk.
Iso E Super is a molecule that hovers close to the skin to create an indefinable aura round the wearer.
It is characterised by a hyper-modern cedarwood note with a velvety sensation. Perfumer Geza Schoen explains its allure: “Iso E Super is one of those skin-sexy scents that makes you want to nestle into it. It’s comforting, cocooning.”
Iso E Super has a marked intermittence. To the wearer, it seems to vanish and then re-appear. This is due to the way it bonds with receptors in the olfactory system, only slowly releasing to make way for a fresh charge of the molecule on the receptors.
Iso E Super does not exist in nature. It was created in a laboratory at IFF in 1973.
Ambroxan has a subtle sensual quality with a radiant, long-lasting drydown.
It is a crystal with a chemical structure identical to the ambrox derived from ambergris. For centuries ambergris was perhaps the most prized ingredient in perfumery. It is a somewhat mysterious substance expelled by the cachalot or sperm whale which only attains its fine scent after a long maturation floating in the ocean. Ambergris is rarely found these days, and the ‘amber’ in a modern fragrance will be a lab-created equivalent of some of the aroma-molecules that make up its scent. By far the finest of these is the nature-identical molecule, Ambroxan.
Ambergris was always valued for its refinement as well as its sensuality. This quality persists in Ambroxan. “It has a fresh almost mineral quality,” says perfumer, Geza Schoen, “that lingers into the drydown.”
Ambroxan was isolated from plant sources in 1950.
Vetiveryl Acetate could be described as a hybrid molecule, half-natural, half-synthetic. It is a fraction of vetiver oil, distilled from the roots of an Indian grass, which is then ‘crossed’ with acetic acid to remove the bitter and leathery aspects of the root.
The result is an elegant and refined molecule with the woody, slightly grassy character of vetiver, but far smoother and softer. “Acetylation also brings out the grapefruit touch in vetiver,” says Geza Schoen, “giving a more pronounced bitter-fresh top note.”
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